Planting of the Arboretum was started in 1999. The aim was to bring together a collection of rare and unusual trees with an emphasis on size, shape, leaf, bark and colour. As time has gone by, the selection criteria for new trees that are added in certain areas, particularly the Main Arboretum have been tightened.
The Arboretum has collections of Sequoiadendron, Sequoia, Fagus, Liriodendron, Liquidambar and Quercus to name but a few. New trees will continue to be planted and will be for the foreseeable future as there is still room for expansion.
The ground conditions at Abbeywood have at times proved extremely challenging, with many areas containing a shallow layer of sandstone or large sandstone boulders. This made the planting of trees initially a slow and laborious task. However with the addition of machinery, such as the mini digger fitted with a breaker, problem areas can now be more efficiently dealt with.
The Arboretum is relatively young, but is already starting to have an impact on the look and feel of Abbeywood. For anyone who is interested in trees, it is a unique opportunity to see the creation and evolution of an Arboretum first hand.